Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24: No. No word.


No, there's still no word about how we're being robbed of more than forty billion dollars a year by some of our better families. In particular, there's not a word from Justin Trudeau or Dominic Leblanc or Brian Gallant. And not even a mention that our federal minister of finance is one of the better people named.
Can you imagine what would happen if one of us told the minister that we were going to hide $40 from taxation?

No, our money is essential because Dominic Leblanc and his wife need it to entertain the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for a weeked with full military honours. 21-gun salute, raising of the royal standard, inspection of the guard, trip on a hovercraft, and the expert participation of the Duke and Duchess in a discussion of mental health issues. (Not to mention the fine foods and festive dinners.) That's going to be expensive. So make sure  you pay your full taxes.
Oh, and perhaps we could made a video of the whole affair, and show it at our food banks as an inspiration to us all.  (The food banks are charities because we don't raise enough taxes for them. And we don't raise enough taxes because.....)

The only thing worth reading in section A is an excellent column at the bottom of A15. It's a commentary on the importance or parents reading WITH their children from kindergarten on. Schools do as much as they can. But it's important for parents to be involved. I grew up in a district in which most of my friends were illiterate. They couldn't even read the balloons in comic books. But my father read. He read to me. He read with me. And every Saturday, poor as we were, he would find a second hand book for me. Reading was a part of every day and, oh, it made a difference for my whole life.

The lead story in "Canada & World" is that  premier Gallant exercises and eats wisely when he's on the road. this uses up more than a full page. This, with ads, makes up 4 and half of the eight pages the irvings call "Canada &World".
At the bottom of the page is the rather more important story that  the bombing of Syria has resumed. Unfortunately, it's a propaganda piece. It gives the impression that  this is entirely the fault of the Russians. In fact, information on this is confused. The bombing has been resumed - but all sides are doing it, and it's not at all clear who started it. (In fact, the bombing never really stopped.)

There is a similar story from The Associated Press on p. 7. It, too, is propaganda. One of its major sources is Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It doesn't mention that the observatory is run by one man who creates propaganda to favour the American side.

A2 has the most tasteless story I have ever seen outside the scandal mags at the supermarket. The story - a third of a page with photo - is that the premier of New Brunswick has a girl friend.

Again, none of the brutality of the killing in Yemen makes it into the news.
The only good page in section B is the last one. It's a page of car ads.
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Sometimes I   worry about the direction The Guardian is going in.   It's still superior to most newspapers in this world. But I have been noticing slips. Today, for example, its story on the fighting in Aleppo looks like one that could have appeared in the irving press. Like the irving press, it quotes the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights just as if it were not a propaganda agency.
It also avoids drawing any attention to the cause of this war which has so far killed at least a half million people. This was was started by the U.S. It started the war by funding terrorist  groups to rebel against the Syrian government. It still funds them. But they are never called terrorist groups in our news media. No. They are called 'rebels', or even 'moderates' - though I'm not sure exactly what a moderate terrorist is.

Yes. I know Assad is not a nice man. I don't know of any middle east country governed by a 'nice man'. Nor is there likely to be one in the near future. The west, notably Britain and the U.S. have spent a century creating such crises there that no rule by a 'nice' person is possible. And very little democracy is possible.
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It's amazing how little news about Africa ever appears in the irving press. The Guardian manages to notice most of the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/kenya-dadaab-refugee-camp-what-happens-when-it-closes-asad-hussein
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And we certainly don't ever get the truth about Ukraine.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/ukraine-corruption-bigotry-western-support-russia
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Nor do we hear about Congo which has being living through brutal killing, torture, starvation, exploitation for almost a hundred and fifty years. Originally colonized by Belgium, Congo was looted, made a hell by - you know - capitalists who used torture, murder on a vast scale to force the people to work in mines under starvation wages and brutal conditions. The horror of it was captured in a book "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad.

But the killing and starvation are still going on under the guidance of western capitalists - the same ones who don't pay taxes. The current government plans to ignore the constitution and run for office again in a fixed election. But you can be sure that western capitalists will not call him a 'bad man'.

And one of the most resource rich countries in the world will continue its horror of a century and a half with no relief in sight.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2016/sep/23/political-violence-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-in-pictures
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Here is a site really worth hanging onto. It is devoted to getting information out to the public about tax havens - and who's using them. So far, the who involve leading members of governments - you know, the ones who insist that we pay all our taxes.

https://www.icij.org/

Don't lose this because you certainly won't be able find it in an irving press article.
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The following is from the World Socialist Web Site. But don't panic. It is based entirely on a press statement by a leading U.S. general. So it should be taken seriously.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/24/syri-s24.html
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This one is terrifying. But quite possible.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/09/24/us-turkey-lurch-world-war-syria.html
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Still believe those stories about who's bombing who in Syria? Here's a correction to  one version that the irving press used - and has never corrected.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45556.htm
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Netanyahu rejects UN criticism of Israel, and says UN is a farce. And the U.S. has just given Israel a monster weapons package. But that's okay. The U.S. has been busily degrading the UN ever since it was founded.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.743788
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How soon we forget!

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/24/34-years-after-the-sabra-shatila-massacre/
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And how easily we never even notice.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/24/mendacious-war-criminal-obamas-final-speech-to-the-un-general-assembly/

Is it an overstatement to say Obama is a war criminal? No, it's not. He ordered the invasion of a country which posed no threat to the U.S. That is what "war criminal" means.
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Then there's those pesky scientists who tell us that climate change is on us. But what do they know? I'll believe this next story when I hear it from Mr. Irving who has a degree in---uh---uh....actually, at least three Irvings attended Acadia university. Two of them were there just before me. But none of those three graduated.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/24/earth-could-reach-critical-climate-threshold-in-decade-scientists-warn/
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And here's a truth that reads as if it should be announced in our churches. But it won't be.
http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/24/as-we-sow-so-shall-we-reap/
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Funny this important story has never made the irving press. It's also shocking to see how much money Canadian banks have sunk into an American pipeline.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/24/why-standing-rock-needs-to-be-a-two-front-war-against-big-oil-and-big-banks/
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The president of Brazil was impeached by the legislature for criminal behaviour. The new president recently announced it was a setup, and the real reason for impeachment was because she opposed plans to cut social services and, generally, run the country for the very rich. And there is evidence of a heavy U.S. hand in all this. So it didn't make the irving press.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/23/brazils-big-media-ignores-temers-confession-except-estadao-columnist-who-falsely-claimed-video-was-altered/
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This source is pro  Russian. But it's more intelligent and honest that most of the western, pro-American sources are.

http://thesaker.is/why-the-recent-developments-in-syria-show-that-the-obama-administration-is-in-a-state-of-confused-agony/
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The war in Syria rapidly becoming a world war. It now involves Syria, the U.S., various jihadist groups financed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Turkey (which has invaded Syria), Israel (which has invaded Syria and lost two aircraft in the process), Russia (which is there by invitation of the Syrian government). Also involved are Britain and Canada.

And any accident could now make it a full, world war. The whole region is dissolving into chaos as a result of the attacks begun with Iraq. The latter may well prove to be the most destructive foreign policy move in history. Obama has done nothing whatever to clear this up. Indeed, he has acted consistently to make it even worse. (It's not his fault. He does what the people who own the Democrat party - and the Republican party - tell him to do.)

And Canada, like it or not, will be up to its ears in this. That's what our troops to Latvia and our 'trainers' to Syria are all about.

http://thesaker.is/why-the-recent-developments-in-syria-show-that-the-obama-administration-is-in-a-state-of-confused-agony/
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Today's Faith Page doesn't have its usual column by the wimp of the week. Instead, there's an article on the page that somebody on the prairies wants to build a biblical theme park. But don't worry. If you want a tough, independent and spiritually-based view on the world today  you can always go to the irving Chapel, the Bethlehem of New Brunswick.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sept. 23: Sometimes it's all just too vile.....

The front page headline in today's irving press is "NB Power customers owe nearly $5 million in unpaid electricity bills".

That's it. It's those damn, lazy poor people that are robbin' us. So we won't even bother mentioning the tens of billions of our money  stolen every year by the wealthy in this country. Nor is there any mention of the tax haven scandal in any editorial or commentary in this lying, gutless irving press.

There is, in fairness, an important story YOU need to know on A3. "Man gets probation for lying in road, urinating in cell."

A9 has a whole page devoted to a shallow and pointless story about how Premier Gallant and MP Leblanc are just good friends. Who gives a damn? What is most common in both the Liberal and Conservative parties is that their leading figures are not people with any sense of vision of what Canada should be. To them, it's a game of prestige and contacts and playing the game. And, who knows,  there could be perks and even senate seats on the way.

It's all a chance to give the candidates prestige - so long as they play the game and please the right people. That's certainly all that Justin Trudeau and Dominic Leblanc are about. There is no sense of what our society needs, what changes are essential.  And, in the end, the game comes down to pleasing the well-established.

A11 has its usual, propaganda 'Commentary' from the Fraser Institute. This time, it's a hymn to the virtues of private-for-profit health care. The rich are mounting a big campaign for it. (see below). Watch for the irving press to kiss up.

The Canada&World section is beneath contempt. There's no mention of the slaughter in Yemen, the chaos in Africa... No. The big story is that a cabinet minister recently discovered she was born in Iran, not Afghanistan. So bloody what?
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Here are a couple of real stories the irving press missed - probably deliberately.

http://www.healthcoalition.ca/tools-and-resources/legal-challenges-to-health-care/cambie-case/

The idea that private health care is cheaper is absurd. The U.S. system is, in fact, monstrously expensive. (Remember the story of the woman from BC  who gave birth while visiting the U.S. - and got a bill for a million dollars?) I grew up in a society  with no medicare. And most people simply didn't see doctors. If they got sick, they went to bed and stayed there until they died. They couldn't afford anything else. I watched three members of my family die that way.

And here's similar story.

http://www.healthcoalition.ca/impact-of-the-tpp-on-health-care/

Private-for-profit for health care has a long history of cheating and extortion. But the push is on for the wealthy to grab everything. And the irving press will back them every step of the way.

(And, no. Voting Conservative next time won't make things better.)
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And if you want more information about tax havens, see if you can get these through your local library.

Paul Martin & companies : sixty theses on the alegal nature of tax havens (2006)

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM230802&R=230802

Also of interest:

2) Offshore : tax havens and the rule of global crime (2011)

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM3409920&R=3409920

3) Treasure islands : tax havens - the darkest chapter in economic history since the slave trade (2011)

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM2735484&R=2735484

1 tax haven, 3 of Canada’s biggest banks, 2,000 offshore companies: A new leak of tax haven data lists firms that may be legitimate, but the sheer number has drawn the attention of watchdogs concerned about the relationship Canada’s banks have forged with island tax havens over the past half-century.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/09/21/1-tax-haven-3-of-canadas-biggest-banks-2000-offshore-companies.html

The wealthy of this world, especially in the Christian part of the world, are killing, impoverishing, and stealing at a rate that guarantees eternal violence.  It's time to wake up.

Or you could go to the Irving Chapel on Sunday.
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Here's a story that hat been boiling for quite a while, now. But the irving press has ignored it.

://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/22/pipelines-alberta-oil-sands-aboriginal-tribes
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The U.S. frequently boasts about how it has spread democracy to the world.  Here's an example of "U.S. democracy" in a country that has suffered decades of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/guatemala-prominent-human-rights-prosecutor-orlando-lopez-arrested
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Expect nothing from Justin.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/sep/19/justin-trudeaus-lofty-rhetoric-on-first-nations-a-cheap-simulation-of-justice
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This column is by Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president. unfortunately the killing is not going to stop. It's not going to because the whole purpose of this war is precisely the destruction of Syria.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/21/opinion/jimmy-carter-a-first-step-for-syria-stop-the-killing.html?_r=0
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And this is why the killing isn't going to stop.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45534.htm
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This column accuses the 'right-wing' politicians of being the ones working for billionaires to prevent any serious dealing with the threat of climate change. And that's undeniably true. That's why the irving press shows no great concern about climate change. In the end, climate change will destroy billionaires, too. That's why it's unfortunate that greed and stupidity are often found in the same person.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/16/the-rise-of-the-right-and-climate-catastrophe/
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I include the following piece because it illustrates the fundamental problem in police killings in the U.S. Maybe Keith Scott of Charlotte had a gun. Maybe he was dangerous. But that's not really the issue any more. The issue is that American police kill more people than any other police in the developed world. (They will easily reach 800 this month.) And the    proportion of blacks killed is always very, very high. That has to be dealt with. And nobody in power shows the slightest interest in dealing with it.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/21/charlotte-police-killing-protests-america-law-enforcement-today
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Expect nothing from Justin.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/09/bombs-away-how-canada-here-to-help
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The U.S. and Saudi Arabia (and Britain and Canada) have cooperated in the deliberate mass murder of the civilians of Yemen. The irving press has never mentioned it - presumably to spare us the pain of what is being done in our names.

In the U.S. 27 senators have voted to oppose any more involvement in those murders. (Sigh). Only 27. But look on the good side.

That's  27 more than have even mentioned it in Canada. And the irving press doesn't even notice that there is a war in Yemen. It's staff is tied up tracking down those miserable wretches who are behind in their NB power payments.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/21/27-u-s-senators-rebel-against-arming-saudi-arabia/
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Theresa May, (British Prime Minister) has, as one of her first acts, closed the government's Climate Change Office. Democracies, once founded on the principle of individual rights now exist to guard the rights claimed by corporations. As noted above, that's the reason for the current attack in the courts on the right of citizens to have medicare.

The shambles of the election in the U.S., with Mr. Hatred running against Mrs. Detested, is barely a sign of what is to come. The wealthy and greedy are determined to run  the world - and they don't care how many millions they murder, starve, cripple, orphan to do it. This has been going on since we 'won' World War 2. The score so far is at least 15 to 20 million killed - and many times that wounded.

The wealthy and greedy don't care how high the score goes.

We have to wake up very, very soon. And, here in New Brunswick, we have to start with countering the ignorance peddled by the irving press, and we have to dump the good ol' boys of the Liberal and Conservative parties.

We can start by taking the legalized theft of at least 40,000,000,000 dollars of our money damned seriously. But we won't do it so long as New Brunswickers sit around like a herd of sheep.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sept. 22: Rich thieves.

Today is not a blog day. But there are two items I could not ignore.
The first is a huge story that was not important enough to make the irving press .  Maybe on Thursday?
The CBC has uncovered more about offshore banks which provide  the wealthy and criminals with tax havens. This time it has a long list of companies in Canada which are involved.   (Many of these companies exist only on paper to hide the identities of the real tax-avoiders.)
Canadian money banked for the last year was over $40 billion dollars - and there are many more of these tax havens not included in the story. My, isn't it surprising that Prof.Savoie didn't know about these when he wrote his book about how New Brunswick is overspending? And neither did Norbert Cunnigham when he slobbered all over Prof. Savoie's book.
You find panhandlers annoying? How do you feel about people who steal billions from us? This is happening all over the world. Billions of people are being robbed daily by wealthy thieves.
Of course, the story didn't make the irving press. Maybe on Friday? ...or maybe not.
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CBC..ca
CBC INVESTIGATES
3 Canadian banks served 2,000 offshore corporations, Bahamas leak shows
CIBC, Scotiabank and RBC all cite safeguards against potential for tax evasion and money laundering
By Zach Dubinsky, CBC News Posted: Sep 21, 2016 9:11 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 21, 2016 9:13 PM ET
Subsidiaries of Royal Bank, Scotiabank and CIBC helped administer Bahamas-based offshore corporations with names like Bifocal Holdings, Bear With Me Corp. and Zizi Ocean Ltd. (Canadian Press)
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Canadian ties exposed in leaked Bahamas tax-haven data
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How Canada got into bed with tax havens
Complete Panama Papers coverage
Three of Canada's big banks provided services to nearly 2,000 offshore corporations since 1990 in the Bahamas, one of the world's premier tax havens, leaked records show. The revelation has elicited concerns from a leading governance expert that they may be inadvertently aiding illicit activities.

Subsidiaries of CIBC, Royal Bank and Scotiabank helped administer Bahamas corporations with names like Bifocal Holdings, Bear With Me Corp. and Zizi Ocean Ltd., though nearly half the companies are no longer active. At a minimum, the services provided consisted of paying annual fees and filing paperwork — but in many cases also consisted of incorporating the offshore companies.

Bahamas is latest tax haven to be hit by mass data leak
Search the leaked Bahamas corporate records
The findings come from a cache of leaked internal records from the Bahamas corporate registry covering 175,000 companies, trusts and foundations set up in the Caribbean country over the past 25 years.

The data was leaked to Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper — the same media outlet that received the massive Panama Papers leak disclosed earlier this year — and shared with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, whose exclusive Canadian partners are CBC/Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star.

Far less detail than Panama Papers

Nothing in the sample of records CBC or the Star were able to examine indicates any wrongdoing on the part of the Canadian banks or other companies. The leaked documents are much less elaborate than the data obtained in the Panama Papers, which included emails, tax returns, some banking information and even elements like passport info on 214,000 offshore entities handled by a major Panamanian administrator of offshore shell companies.

Richard Leblanc
'It raises red flags in my mind,' corporate governance expert Richard Leblanc says of the volume of Bahamas offshore corporations being served by Canadian banks.

But one expert suggested even just the "high volume" of offshore companies Canadian banks were dealing with, coupled with the opaqueness of corporate records in the Bahamas — a tiny country of about 400,000 people — is cause for possible concern.

"Why are there so many companies registered and such a high volume in a jurisdiction that doesn't have the population base and economy to support it?" asked Richard Leblanc, a professor of law, governance and ethics at York University in Toronto, in an interview with the Star.

"We don't know whether it's done for legitimate reasons or tax evasion or avoidance ... It raises red flags in my mind."

While it's not illegal to set up or own an offshore corporation — provided any income and assets are declared to tax authorities — tax havens like the Bahamas have a history of being used as locales to hide wealth or launder money.

Banks tout safeguards

The Canadian banks all said they specifically guard against those risks.

"Tax evasion, fraud and money laundering are illegal, and we have established policies and controls in place to detect and prevent them from occurring throughout RBC," Royal Bank, which registered or administered 847 Bahamian companies named in the leaked data, said in a statement.

Send us tips

Send tips on this or any other tax haven story to zach.dubinsky@cbc.ca or send us files securely and anonymously using SecureDrop.

"We have an extensive due diligence process to ensure we understand who the clients are and the purposes for those accounts. We have policies, controls and teams to ensure we meet legal requirements to prevent and report suspicious transactions."

Scotiabank, which is listed as the agent for 481 companies in the leak, said administering offshore corporations is a small part of its business in Bahamas, where it has a full retail banking operation with 90,000 customers. It added that it conducts daily monitoring on offshore accounts to spot any irregularities, and does background checks on potential customers.

How Canada's banks help tax-haven money flow
Why Canada got into bed with tax havens
"We regularly have to decline a prospective client. We don't just take all comers," Peter Slan, senior vice-president of global wealth management, said in an interview with the Star. "We will decline clients. We will close accounts if we are at all uncomfortable with the source of their wealth."

CIBC, listed in the Bahamas leak in connection with 632 companies, said in a statement: "We apply stringent anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards in every jurisdiction in which we operate ... If we identify any suspicious activity we report it to all relevant regulators."

Morneau mentioned

Other prominent Canadian names in the data include Bill Morneau, who ran human resources outsourcing and consulting firm Morneau Shepell before becoming federal finance minister last fall. Morneau appears as a director of Morneau Shepell (Bahamas) Ltd., a subsidiary set up in 2014 for his company to consolidate its pension-consulting work in various Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas.

CPP Reforms 20160620
Finance Minister Bill Morneau's name is in the leak from the Bahamas. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

As required under the Conflict of Interest Act, Morneau resigned from Morneau Shepell and its Bahamian subsidiary last October before being sworn in as a minister.

A defunct Caribbean arm of the Labatt brewing empire also turns up in the records. The company, Labatt Brewing Canada Holding Ltd., was only briefly active in 2004. Labatt vice-president Charlie Angelakos said it was simply a holding company and disappeared when Labatt parent company Interbrew merged with AmBev that year.

Preferred tax haven

The Bahamas has been a preferred tax haven for Canadian money for years, in part due to its serene beaches and breezy lifestyle, but also because Canada entered into a pact called a tax information exchange agreement, or TIEA, with the Caribbean country in 2011.

Under the deal, the Bahamas committed to hand over confidential banking and other financial details on Canadians with accounts there to the Canada Revenue Agency to help it ferret out tax cheats. In exchange, Canada allows Canadian businesses with legitimate activity in the Bahamas to earn profits that enjoy the country's zero corporate tax rate, and then bring those earnings back home tax-free.

Partly as a result, the Bahamas has become the No. 6 destination for money legally going abroad from Canada. Corporations and wealthy Canadians have nearly $33 billion in assets there, Statistics Canada's latest numbers show — more than in China, Brazil and Germany combined.

A previous joint CBC/Toronto Star investigation found TIEAs like the one with the Bahamas may in fact be achieving the opposite of their stated goal to curb the amount of money routed offshore.

Panama Papers database search image
Search the Bahamas leak & Panama Papers:

Who's in the leaked files? Search the database here
What's in the database and how to search it
More Panama Papers coverage:

Billionaire confirmed as mystery man in global bribery case
SNC-Lavalin paid $22M to get Algeria contracts
Middlemen between Canada and offshore secrets revealed
Panama Papers names go public
RBC to turn over files on Panama Papers clients to taxman
Iceland PM steps aside over offshore revelations
Canada's top offshore middleman linked to fraudster
Send tips on this or any other tax haven story to zach.dubinsky@cbc.ca or send us files securely and anonymously using SecureDrop.

Oh, yeah. Canada's minister of finance keeps his money in a tax haven. No matter. No government at any level in Canada has shown the slightest interest in examining this.
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The irving press hasn't noticed the tax haven story - but it did notice one. Too bad it's a false and misleading story. But, of course, that's why the irving press noticed it. It's on p. A3.
In the story, an Environment Canada biologist talks about the summer of 2016. He doesn't mention climate change and, by omission, hints that it's not happening. Moncton has had a warm summer, he admits; but no records were set.
Mr. environment Canada, climate change does not depend on the average temperature on Main St., Moncton. This summer DID set record average temperatures around the world. And that means climate change.
August, by the way, had the highest average temperature since modern record-keeping began 136   years ago.  (But the story doesn't mention that.)
Then he says our temperatures were  higher than usual. But that was because the seas around us are several degrees above normal. Oh? And why are those seas warmer than usual?
This is deliberately framed as a "good news" story, and it discredits the facts about global warming by not even mentioning them. I note this story does not come from a news agency. And it does not come from Environment Canada. The whole story was done by irving press alone, and it interviews an employee of Environment Canada.
This is what is called propaganda.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sept. 21: The rise of capitalism, and the collapse of Christianity.

Big headline for Tuesday's irving press. Our leading m.p., Dominic Leblanc, expresses hope that the Energy Pipeline will go through - even though there is no study yet to show this is desirable, and even though the government body appointed to do the study has been found to be tainted - to put it nicely.
In fact, there isn't enough in this story to rate a front page headline. But it's a strong hint  that  both Leblanc and the editors at the irving press work for the same boss.

For some reason not clear, a large space is devoted to a new. 'spiritual' party. The platform is not only simple-minded, but the party has only one member. Talk about trivial news! And this is more attention than either the Green Party or the NDP has received.

Wednesday's paper is no better. The front page has a shocking story that "Moncton paying consultant for homelessness report". Why is that a big story? Is it unusual for the city to pay for services it requests?

In Opinion and Commentary everthing is "nose in our own bellybottons" local stuff. Brian Cormier's column is a disgrace for a newspaper Commentary page. It's never a commentary . It's always a trivial little story of no value. Nor does Alec Bruce distinguish himself with a Norbert-like column which is a flimsy argument that public servants should copy big business. What are you suggesting, Mr. Bruce? That civil servants should base their programmes on personal greed?

Canada and World news is mostly shallow trivia - unless you really, really care that the British pay billions for a  royal family so Duchess Kate can wear expensive clothes so that we all can gasp - "Doesn't she look lovely?"  Meanwhile, within walking distance of the palace, families live in poverty and many children live in the streets.

Oh, and President Obama wants wealthier nations to pay more to help refugees!!!!  Hint, Mr. Obama. The U.S. is a wealthier nation. And it created those millions of refugees. Luckily, George Clooney brought a Christian perspective to the appeal when he praised business for not helping out of a sense of charity. No. They do it for the Christian reason that it's good business.
In the U.S., police are killing American citizens at a rate of close to a thousand a month. Ordinary homicides run at a rate closer to 1,500 a month. It's anybody's guess how many Americans die of poverty with its toll through malnutition and lack of affordable medical care.The U.S. govrernment, but serviing the greedy first kills more Americans that terrorists do. But none of these make the news.
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This next part is long. Skip it if you find it boring.

As I write this, i'm listening to the story about a bomber in New York who injured 29 people. That story has been running for two days with more to come. In that time, thousands have died, not injured - died, killed by police or conventional murderers or died of poverty. But that doesn't make the news. Why not?

On 9/11, 3,000 Americans died in terrorist attacks. Since then, several millions of Muslims, almost all of whom had nothing to do with the attack, have been killed. So have thousands of Americans, British and Canadians who died while they were being patriotic and killing Muslims. That has made the news, sort of. But it's noticeable we, who know exactly how many were injured in New York, have not even a vague count of how many have died in Afghanistan,Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and the many countries which have suffered drone attacks.

We don't even know why these wars happened - though, if you follow the news very closely, you can learn that the British and American governments both lied about the reasons for invading Iraq and Syria. (They didn't even bother to lie about Libya or Yemen or the drones - and nobody asked.)

Close to 30 million people, many of them orphaned children, have fled their homes to live in hunger and misery in dreadful conditions. A high proportion of them are in Greece, a country that can't afford to feed its own people. But there's very little sense of this in the news.

But we know all about 29 people injured in New York. And we have an exact number for those who died on 9/11 - though we have little idea of the millions murdered and tens of millions living in misery as a result of the revenge for 9/11.
What's the purpose of all this killing by us? Is it to scare Muslims away from attacking us? If so, it's been a colossal flop. The west has spent trillions of dollars, kllled millions, destroyed the lives of tens of millions of innocent people in the last 15 years. And there's no sign it has gained an inch. Nor is it likely to.
So why do we continue this?

It has nothing to do with ending terrorism. In fact, it is now well-known (though not in the irving press) that the U.S., Britain and Saudi Arabia have been financing and equpping ISIS and related groups. That's because they don't want functioning states in the middle east - or anywhere else. They want failed states. dysfunctional states, puppet states. It makes them easier to loot.

These wars are no more religious wars than the crusades were. The crusaders wanted land and they wanted slave peasants. The really didn't care who they killed. They happily murdered Christian clergy, raped and murdered nuns, and looted churches in Constantinople.  Our oil and other mineral billionaires are holding high the cross as they destroy nations. And Christian clergy who get in the way in, say, Latin America, get murdered. (But the churches have been patriotically American, British, Canadian. They don't say a word about it.This could be a point for our new, spirituality party to consider. But it won't.)

Democracy is being replaced by a new aristocracy. This one is an aristocracy of money but, like the old one, it's an aristocracy by birth. Education and intelligence have nothing to do with it. The next president of irving oil will be a person born with that name. And they will carry the blessing of the news media they own.

That's why we're seeing such a childish election in the U.S. where the issues are whether Hillary is sick or whether Donald is too fond of his daughter. Americans don't know what the real issues are because their news media don't inform them.
The U.S. is plunged into wars whose primary purposes are to create huge profits for the war industries and support looting by American capitalists. A side effect has been to create massive and worsening poverty in the U.S. as the wealthy (with the help of U.S. legislation) avoid taxes. The whole political system is powered by greed and corruption - and deprivation.

Heard much about those in the campaign?

The U.S. has aggressively moved its nuclear weapons right up to the borders of China and Russia, creating the most dangerous and accident-prone situation the world has ever seen.

Heard much about that in the campaign?

The wealthy have been increasing their share of the wealth for the last   forty years or so.

Which candidate has raised that point?

The result is that it doesn't matter who wins the election. Both candidates represent what we used to call evil and greed, but now call leadership. And the VP candidates are even worse than Hillary and Donald.
But nobody wants us to think about that.  And that's why we don't hear about, say, the slaughter that is Yemen. But we get regular reports on 29 people people injured by a Muslim in New York.
The emphasis is quite deliberate.
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I had a couple of interesting notes from readers.

http://journal-neo.org/2016/09/17/russia-trumps-usa-energy-war-in-mideast/
No. The war in Syria has nothing to do with a Muslim injuring 29 people in New York.
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As a child, like everybody I knew, I worshipped Churchill. As a teenager, I was enhanted by his History of the English Speaking Peoples.  It took me some years to see the dreadful manipulation in that book. My admiration took another pounding as I came to learn more about his family and his personality.
He was a hero of World War 2. But it was a heroism based heavily on propaganda. He was, physically, a man of courage. But he never gave a damn for the Briish people.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.742708?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.742708&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_
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Speaking of the glories of entrepreneurship...
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/21/silicon-valley-eviction-facebook-trion-properties
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The is a taste of what's wrong with the U.S. election campaign.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/20/clinton-trump-presidential-debate-terrorism-national-security

1, The reality is the the U.S. has been financing the 'terrorists'. 2. Police kill more Americans than terrorists do. So where's the campaign about that threat? 3. American killers kill far more than terrorist do. 4. Lack of adequate nutrition and medical care kills more Americans than terrorist do.

So why do Trump and Hillary spend all their time on terrorism?
They do that to create fear and hatred to justify the killing of millions and the displacement of tens of millions for reasons that had nothing to do with terrorism, only with greed.
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The most interesting part of this excerpt is in the opening paragraphs on the cost of university education in the U.S. These must easily be among the highest in the world. Here, again, is a wealthy country that can spend billions on weapons, but cannot afford adequate education for any but the rich.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45525.htm
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The following is true in Canada, too - if not so viciously.

http://www.unz.com/article/deep-state-america-2/

It's quite amazing. The U.S. has been the world leader in illegal wars for decades. Often, it just kills without ever declaring war. And its victims have largely been smaller and poorer countries incapable of being a threat to the U.S.
But American politicians and news media effectively propagandize Americans that they are the ones who are defending themselves.
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Ever read about the Sioux stand-off in the U.S.? Well, of course not if you read only the irving press. But it's a story with importance to both Canada and the U.S.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/21/edward-snowden-the-cia-and-sioux-indian-converge-in-mans-life/
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The next story is about $5 trillion dollars that could not be spent on health care or education or housing or to alleviate poverty. And it was tax money. So that meant, thanks to thoughtul governments who made it legal, that the wealthy didn't have pay any of it because they were sheltered from taxes.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/15/us-has-spent-nearly-5-trillion-on-wars-since-911/
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This next item is about dangers that can arise from clear-cut log cutting. Luckily, New Brunswick has a government which would never tolerate this indifference to the environment.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/council-canadians/2016/09/yes-logging-introduces-mercury-new-revelations-grassy-narro
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Next, the Syrian cease-fire - and why this was predictable from the start.

http://thesaker.is/syrian-ceasefire-failed-what-now/
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Paul Craig Roberts is one of the best - and best-informed - writers I know of. I'm afraid his point here is right. Capitalism, like the aristocrat rules that preceded it, is endlessly greedy and incapable of dealing humanely with people.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/09/19/will-russia-surrender-paul-craig-roberts/
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The new, U.S. aid
 package to Israel may not be nearly so large as our news media have said.
http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.742079?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.742079&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_term=20160915-07%3A09
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We are well into a very dangerous period. Rule by the greedy has always been with us. But it has now stretched its way to the limits and beyond. Important people in that rule now want a nuclear war. There cannot be the slightest coubt about that. The very wealthy have no interest in us  except in using us to make them wealthier.

As for organized religion in the western world, it has collapsed. I am reminded of a good friend who spent most of his life in danger and hardship as a missionary to the Congo. I realize now he could have spent it more productively and more comfortably as a missionary to those who really need to hear The Word, to the chamber of commerce and our corporate boards of directors.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sept. 19: The Triumph of Greed (if we allow it).

The irving press for today has a  fairly decent front page.

A professor at Mount A points out that bacteria produced from fecal matter is at dangerous levels at a popular beach in this area. And it's not coming from salt water.  Obviously, this is waste water draining from the land. Why isn't this information readily available to us?

And you've heard the stories of  how private businesses are operated by fearless capitalists who risk their own money to build businesses. Well, it seems they don't risk just their own money. Breweries have received $11 million dollars from our taxes over the last dozen years.

Echoes of Atcon.

And all of that put together and multiplied would almost certainly be pretty pale stuff beside the ravages of irving.

We have allowed a very dangerous situation to develop. Instead of governing to meet the needs of the whole society, we govern to meet the greed of the wealthy. The theory is that the wealthy will then create prosperity for us all. The trouble with that theory is that it's pure bunk. The wealthy exist only to create prosperity for themselves. To do that, they will enslave, impoverish, murder hundreds of millions. They're doing it now in the middle east, Africa, Latin America, Asia - and even right here in North America - and Moncton.

And, occasionally, they will toss us a cigarette butt, and the Chamber of Commerce will give them a celebratory dinner for philanthropy.

Thhis is going to get much, much worse. And, while I don't advocate it, it's going to lead to severe violence here just as it has led to it in Vietnam, Yemen, the middle east, South America. The greedy are without morality or intelligence. Either we control them, or they bring us all down.

The rest of section A is pretty brainless. A bar moved to a new location across the street from its old one.  Then there's a whole page on a beer festival. And, of course, fun events to raise money for charities. Has it ocurred to no-one that there is something wrong with a society that dishes out millions  (at least) to breweries and Atcon and irvings, but leaves it up to  volunteer charities to meet desperate social needs?

There are three columns worth reading on the Opinion and Commentary pages Norbert Cunningham on the drug fentanyl, Steve Malloy on rising violence in Moncton (and he's right; it's not a simply matter of druggies), and Alec Bruce on Atcon.

Now, wouldn't it be nice get a colum on what the irvings costs us?
"Canada and World" is all Canada (and trivial) except for one story about New York. Yemen? Syria? Latin America? Libya? Never heard of them. It is likely that we will soon be committing more troops and supplying more weapons to those places without knowing a damn thing about why we're doing it except that we're being patriotic. (Just like Germans were in 1939; just as we were when we sent troops to kill and to die in Afghanistan for American billionaires).

The rest of the world is not the far away place it was 600 hundred years ago. Canadians died in Afghanistan, a place few had ever heard of, and almost none knew anything about. Simply calling this patriotism is brainless. It's important to know about the rest of the world because what happens to us in Latvia could well be a hell of a lot more important  than what is happening even at Parlee Beach. We need news of the world, and we need analysis of that news. Lives are going to depend on it.

The only column in the whole paper to mention the rest of the world is by  Jerrica Naugler, a student columnist. And it's quite good one.
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The irving press entirely lacks comment on international affairs. And if usually lacks it even on national affairs. So if you want intelligent comment on Canadian national affairs, you have to go to a British paper.

www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/sep/19/justin-trudeaus-lofty-rhetoric-on-first-nations-a-cheap-simulation-of-justice
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As we will soon learn from the Arthur Irving institute at Dartmouth College, oil has been the greatest  raiser of living standards in history.  (especially for people like the irvings). However, there are whispers that it is not entirely beneficial. And here's something that's more than a whisper.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/22/dead-trees-california-wildfire-risk-sierra-nevada

But don't worry. We know from the Arthur Irving Institute that oil creates prosperity. I mean, just look at how the Iraqis and the Syrians and the Libyans have been prospering.
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Germany's Angela Merkel has, for the last year and more, been the outstanding figure in offering help to refugees. Now she's paying the price as racist parties of the far right are rising all over Europe. The American billionaires' wars for oil have destabilized most of the Muslim world, with a destabilization that is now moving in on Europe. And once again it's  proven that greed and brains don't mix.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/19/angela-merkel-admits-mistakes-asylum-seekers-election
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Mass murder? duh. It creates jobs.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/16/british-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-airstrikes-yemen-civilian-casualties
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I am not a great admirer of patriotism. We owe loyalty to all people. The idea that we owe it just to a particular nation is one that has been used to manipulate us by the people who own the nation - from kings to billionaires.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/13/colin-kaepernick-anthem-protest
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Democracy is not a spectator sport. That's why democracy in New Brunswick, as in much of the world, does not exist. Democracy does not just mean voting. Your vote, frankly, is worthless unless it's back up by open discussion and by study. And it's very noticeable that this doesn't happen in New Brunswick.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45497.htm
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Who created ISIS? Well, here's a story about the role of Turkey in that creation. One could write a similar account of the roles of Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Britain. This has all been party of the strategy of destabilizing the whole region. In the facct, the U.S. has been supporting jihadist groups for at least thirty years. It's uses them to fight wars for American billionaires.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45503.htm
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Paul Craig Roberts has experience at the highest levels of government  that places him above even editors at the irving press. Here is his analysis of a U.S. attack in Syria, one of the many that the irving press has never reported.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45499.htm
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Here's another story the irving press never carried. But it is quite possible that Canadians will pay with their lives for what is happening now in Syria.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45504.htm
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This is rather a long one. But the important points are this -

1. The purpose of U.S. intervention in Syria is to get rid of the Assad government, a practice politicians like to call regime change. It is illegal to invade a country to change its government. I don't like the government of the U.S. Can you imagine the U.S. reaction if other countries were to invade the U.S. to change its government?

2. This has nothing to do with Assad being a dictator or cruel or even not nice. The U.S. has a long record of just loving dictators and cruel regimes - like good ol' buddy Saudi Arabia,

3. The reason is to boost billionaires' oil profits by controlling Syria's oil production and markets.

4. That is why close to a million quite innocent people have been murdered, uncounted made cripples or orphans, and tens of millions had to flee to nations that don't want them.

Points one to four are a  definition of evil and cruelty. And helping to inflict the evil and cruelty is why Canadian troops are there.  ( It certainly has nothiing to do with 'the true north strong and free'.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/18/security-council-meets-after-us-coalition-strike-syrian-forces/

This is just one part of history's greatest outburst of greed and looting and murder. And we have yet to begin to see the end of it. It is not possible for any person of intelligence and moral values to support this. And right there, we can wipe out almost the whole lot of Canadian politicians, and the whole lot of Canadian billionaires.
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Many people express dismay at Muslim women who wear the loose head covering and dress called the burka. What a dreadful emphasis of the superiority of men and the inferiority of women! That's been used to explain the collapse of the NDP in Quebec when it supported the right of women to wear the Burka. (Quebec's Christians were 90% opposed to it.)

Well. Muslims might have got the idea from reading the Christian bible and Christian teaching. Check out 1 Corinthians, verse 11.  For more Christian detail, check out the following...

http://kenraggio.com/KR-Bible-Teachings-About-Hair-Length-On-Men-And-Women.html

Yes, men (like God) are to have short hair, and that short hair is a glory unto God. But woman's hair is a snare and a delusion. Yes, it is. That's why in churches (at least  until recently) men took off their hats, but women would not dream of going to church without a hat on. That's why nuns wore what was, essentially, a burka.

Christian teaching (in a reflection of its origins) is that men are superior to women.      That's why we don't have women priests or popes. And that's why not one of the Christian gospels was written by a woman.
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It's been over seventy years since the nuclear bomb was first used. It would, we were told, prevent war. In fact, the world has been at war evey year since them. We were told that the existence of the bomb on both sides meant it would act as a deterrent to war since any war would lead to the destruction of both sides.
If that's true, then why the need to develop even more of them and to make them even more destructive?

In reality, the nuclear arms expansion and improvement  makes it increasingly important to be the one who fires them first. In more than seventy years, we have made the chances of nuclear war more, not less, likely. Nor will it matter who fires first.

Moving U.S. nuclear rockets into regions that surround Russia and China does not ease the possibility of nuclear war. It makes it more likely - especially as a first option. This is insanity. But greed, by definition, is not a characeristic of sanity. And we have allowed the greedy to rule us.

.http://www.voltairenet.org/article193232.html
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Just when you think newspapers are as corrupt and debased as they can get, you read this.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/18/washpost-makes-history-first-paper-to-call-for-prosecution-of-its-own-source-after-accepting-pulitzer/
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And here's a related case from the nation where the greatest sin is telling the truth.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/19/why-obama-should-pardon-all-leakers-and-whistleblowers-not-just-edward-snowden/
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And here's the story for a gathering of people who make their money out of murdering millions.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/19/weapons-makers-hold-lavish-lovefest-for-pentagon-official-who-manages-arms-sales/
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There is a lot of concern among Democrats that Clinton is losing the youth vote. That's nice. But it doesn't get us anywhere. American youth, like their older kin, are against - but they have almost no sense of what they are for.

The party attracting the most youth support is the Libertarian Pary which supports, roughly, the way the US is run today - only more so. And the Greens are so far down the ladder they would have trouble winning a municipal election.
The U.S. is a country which has lost confidence in the major parties, but has no idea where to turn. This comes from a  careful breeding and raising of people who believe in a history that is largely propaganda, and that is taught not only in schools, but also daily slipped into movies and TV. And it's daily supported by the propaganda that Americans call the news. The result is that there is not a sign of original or realistic thinking on the part of anybody. There can't be change because any change would be unAmerican.

It's the same sort of thinking that enabled bomber pilots to think they were being patriotic to America while killing over a million civilians in Iraq.

Americans are locked into a myth.  As a result, they profoundly dislike and distrust their governments - but they don't know why. That has consequences.
One is likely to be increasing police state legislation, and increasing violence with little sense of what needs to be achieved.It means increasingly corrupt governments owned by billionaires who loot not only the world but the U.S. itself.

And Canada is influenced by much the same thinking. That may be why our news media have yet to notice that Trudeau is very reminiscent of Harper.
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Before I took a break at the end of August, I said I would not be writing this blog on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I am going to hold to that. I have promised an autobiography to my children, and am only half way through it (and approaching the point at which one has to tell unpleasant truths about oneself.)

One thing I miss from my Montreal days is giving public talks about current events. I used to do that nearly a hundred times a year, and usually to large audiences. But my attempts to start such meetings met with no success in New Brunswick. N.B. doesn't like open discussion, not unless its an expensive supper set up by the Chamber of Commerce to honour somebody rich. If you have any thoughts where this might work, let me know.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sept. 17: the real meaning of evil

Let's deal quickly with the irving press.

The only news item worth reading in section A is that the Irving family has given thirty million dollars to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire for the Irving Institute of Energy and Society.

Note the third paragraph in which it says "...the Irving Institute will advance the understanding of a resource that powers modern life and is directly related to society's standard of living and success."

Gee, I wonder what resource that is. And according to this blurb, it does wonderful things. Yes, it does. And, later on, it tells us Arthur L. Irving has been a visionary leader, and Irving oil has been an early adopter of prcesses that improve the environmental performance of their...products.

This news item consists largely of quotations which have the smell of being written by a PR agent. Still, it's worth reading - as a reminder that professors and universities can be bought.

The editorial is an extremely shallow one about the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership and a similar European deal that are coming up. This editorial - like other rare mentions of these deals - tells us nothing about them.

de Adder has a silly cartoon of the Liberals crushing the demand for an Atlantic justice on the Supreme  court.  Generals are not chosen with guarantees of a spot for candidates from any region. Nor are prime ministers.  Nor are airline pilots. They represent ability, not regions. There is no reason whatever why the Atlantic provinces should have a right to a judge on the Supreme Court. The justices represent the law, not regions.

There is an interesting guest column on a topic the irving press has not covered, and probably knows nothing about.  It points out that the European Union is essentially an anti-democratic institution which has deliberately imipoverished countries like Greece. The writer blames German domination for this. There's good deal of truth in that, though it still leaves out the American role in setting up this anti-democratic institution.

The only news worth reading in Canada and World is that the head of Statistics Canada has quit because of interference from the Trudeau government. (A previous one quit because of interference from the Harper government. Coincidence.)

And, for a change, the Faith Page has a column worth reading.
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But there's something else we need to think about. It is not possible to understand the news by following the news media. That's true even of the few, honest ones. The news, at best, gives us a two or three minute bite which, by itself, usually tells us nothing at all. We may, for example, be told that ISIS has attacked a city killing hundreds of people. Or that the U.S. has bombed Libya - killing hundreds of people. But what that means depends on who's listening to it or reading it. If you're a westerner, it's probably  because ISIS is evil, while the U.S. is doing what it has to do. If you're a Muslim, the meanings may reversed.

We cannot understand the news all by itself. We can only understand it with some reading of history. So let's start with the age that began in 1492. Let's start with the event that took our world into the age of modern empires.

Earlier empires had always been limited by communications. Even Rome could manage only a relatively small empire. There was a hint what could come with the Vikings. But they were too few to make much of a difference. The change came with a  Columbus who lived in an age when ships could reach the more lucrative parts of the Americas, and who could count on the backing of a large and wealthy nation. This began the modern age of empires, unlimited in its reach.

And Columbus set the tone for what was to follow. He looted his new discoveries to satisfy the greed of his national employers. Indigenous peoples were murdered (often by attack dogs).  Established societies - some amounting to civilizations - were destroyed.   Other countries, notably Britain and France, joined the destruction and plundering. They also, as Spain had, flooded the new  countries with their own settlers, either killing the indigenous peoples or forcing them off their lands. So those people lost not only lives but their lands, their economies, their societies (with all the relationships, order, and development that the word society means). They existed only to - somehow - survive.

And their condition has not changed.

The same pattern was repeated, notably by Britain, France, the Netherlands, the U.S. in Asia. The method and purpose never varied - kill, control, degrade and destroy existing social structures and values, enslave, impoverish,  loot.

Then send missionaires to tell them that the Jesus of their conquerors loves them.

It's important to understand that this invariably meant the impossibility of the conquered people to retain their sense of social structure and order, or even of personal relationships. They existed only to serve their conquerors.

Traditional forms of government, like the emperors of China, simply disappeared. They were replaced by civil servants and company officials from Europe and the U.S. These were, almost without exception, profoundly racist. I guess one has to be racist in order to justify humiliating and impoverishing people by the millions.

(While in Hong Kong to teach history, I also helped to teach a course in journalism. All but one of my students was Chinese. That one was from England.  All of them were working journalists.  The one from England had a high opinion of his abilities, was arrogant - and was the highest paid journalist in the class. He would later advance rapidly in the British-owned South China Morning Post. That's the way things worked under British rule. He was also the least intelligent of that class of students.)

When it was under British rule, I routinely saw whole families including babies living in plywood shelters under staircases, or lining the streets to sleep on flattened cardboard or under overpasses. This was after more than a century of British rule. Friends tell me that has, since the British left, ended.
Empires exist to exploit. Nothing else. They do not bring civilizaton. They destroy it.

The empires of western Europe dominated the world until World War 2.  Today's United States, always an empire builder, is now the world's greatest imperial power - and it's just like the others - but with greater killing power.
That's what the news is about. But you would never guess that from most news sources.

The victims of  imperialism struggled to find a way out. Perhaps the longest struggle was in China. Eventually, the Chinese turned to communism as an answer in the 20th century. Our news media reported it - but always with the suggestion their solution was evil.

The preferred solution for the west was the leadership of Chiang -kai Shek, a drug dealer become general (and a Christian) and man of choice by the western powers. When he was chased out of China by Mao, our news media concentrated on stories of how evil Mao was. There was a good deal of truth to the stories.
Mao arose out of more than a century of western looting, abuse, and social destruction in China.      He was by no means a nice guy. More than a century of looting, abuse and social destruction does not create nice guys. The western rulers were not nice guys, either. They were murderers on a grand scale. They were the biggest drug dealers in history. They were looters. Chiang was a mass murderer, drug dealer...but our news media told us only that he was a Christian.
We created Mao. And, for all the horrors in his reign, Mao is the one who made modern China possible.

In the same way, we created the Stalin and his horrors. The communist revolution in China didn't happen because the Russians suddenly had a fit of evil. It happened as a result of many years of rule by greedy Tsars and aristocracy - assisted by western capitalism. In fact, we sent troops to Russia after World War 1 to fight for the aristocrats and capitalists.

And our news media never mentioned the horrors that we had subjected the Russian people to. And, when Russia eventually became capitalist and, like the U.S., more or less democratic, our news media still see it as evil. Of course. It has nothing to do with communism. It never did. It has to do with Russia becoming an economic competitor.

For several centuries, we have suffered no attack from Islam. So why now? Could it possibly have anything to do with what we have been doing to the Muslim world?

For a century, we gave created countries in the middle east that were created simply by drawing lines on a map These were entirely artificial countries, so artificial they could be managed only by dictators - like the king of Saudi Arabia or like Saddam Hussein (whom we happily supported as a dictator.) There was no definable social structure to any of these countries.  We did it so we could loot the oil of the region, taking all and giving nothing. It was the old greed and arrogance and racism of empire.

This is what the Irving Institute calls understanding the resource that is directlly related to the prosperity of modern society.

Impoverished, their traditional society destroyed, ,many Muslims, just as the Chinese and Russians did, just as our own native peoples are trying to do, are lookiing for some form of social order to escape the treatment they are being subjected to.

(Perhaps it could have been done by incorporating the native peoples into the operaton and benefits of their own resources. But greed and imperialism don't work that way.)

Some Muslims have chosen an extreme form of their religion as their answer. It's most unlikely to be a solution. But it probably seems reasonable to people who have watched others of their faith being not only robbed by the western powers, but murdered in their millions. And this has been made hugely worse by the decision the U.S. made to launch wars against Muslim countries for no clear reason. That began with the continuing disaster of Afghanistan.  It, like other countries, needed help to adjust to change. We sent bombs.

Technological advance and greed since 1492 have taken the world to a state of final crisis.

That's what the news is about. But we'll never understand that from news stories, not even honest ones. We have to know history to understand what's happening today.
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A touch of the news.

As you read this one, just think - Most Canadians and Americans. don't even know what this transatlantic trade deal is. Or the Trans-Pacific one. But they point the way to a fundamental, and very ugly, change in the nature of our society.

Here's a story about a population that is more alert than ours.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/sep/17/ttip-protests-see-crowds-take-to-streets-of-seven-german-cities

And here are photos of it. It's nice to see a society that can gather a large crowd even without free beer and fireworks.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/sep/17/ttip-protests-on-the-streets-of-germany-video
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I'm as sceptical as the next person about conspiracy theories. But the reality is that conspiracies do happen. They are not unusual. And this time, the source is a pretty good one. So when do we  get an independent, open, and official examination of the World Trade Towers?

Oh, yes. I know. An American government would never deliberately kill 3,000 Americans. But shortly after this, it did. It sent Americans and Canadians and British to die in a war in Afghanistan. Supposedly, it was to punish Afghanistan for sponsoring the 9/11 attacks. But no such connection has ever been shown.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/17/fifteen-years-later-physics-journal-concludes-all-three-wtc-towers-collapsed-on-911-due-to-controlled-demolition/
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I may have run this one before. But it's worth thinking about. Former British pm David Cameron botched the war on Libya. He's a prime reason the result has been such a disaster. But Canada was there, too. Where was the deep thinking in Canada about what we were doing and why? Where was it in the U.S.?

This has turned into one of the great disasters of foreign policy, and a major reason for the rise of jihadism. This is a part of what we have done by destroying societies in the name of greed. Canadians were deeply involved in it. Have you seen any Canadian news medium asking questons about this?

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/16/david-cameron-libya-and-disaster-the-findings-of-the-foreign-affairs-select-committee/
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Canada is nearing the point of signing enormous trade deals. I have seen nothing in our news media to tell us what these are about or what effect they will have on us. In fact, our news media haven't even told us what's in them.

And here's worse news....

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/09/trade-deals-investor-state-provisions-sub-criminal-conspiracy
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Lots of readers will disagree with this one. But I think it makes sense. (Oh, I know. North Korea is evil. And we aren't.)

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45489.htm
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In one of the most brutal wars this world has known, a nation of poor people are being bombed and starved to death by Saudi Arabia, with enthusiastic help from the U.S., Britain, - and Canada.

The irving press has ignored it. So have most others. This one has a photo of a baby starving to death. But it won't match the one from Syria of a little boy who got dirty in a bombed building. You won't see it on TV or in newspapers, and certainly not in the irving press.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45485.htm
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Here are some pretty authoritative voices on the scandal of our news media.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45493.htm
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There's more. But it's been a long day.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sept. 16: Climate change and mass murder for profit.

Big headline. Moncton is to get a new hotel which will be part of a $100 million dollar project. And it will be right near the new 'events centre'; so that's a sure sign the events centre is attracting development.

Well, actually, it's not. That piece of land the hotel will be on is the only vacant lot left in downtown Moncton. So where else could it be be put? And, again, we're getting a development that will provide mostly low-paying jobs,  with most of them short term.

From there, we go to a big story (with photo) in which a man who had a fire gives us the word that it's important to have a fire alarm. Who could have guessed?

Justin Ryan has a column on how Japanese have an education system is that based heavily on memorization. I'm   quite sure he's right. I had the same experience in China. Why is this worth a column?  (In fact, university education in Canada is heavy on memorizing, too.)

Most disappointing is Alec Bruce's column. He, too, has become a cheerleader for the Energy East Pipeline. He even  quotes the Fraser Institute - though he must know that it is funded by the sort of people who want pipelines.

He tells us that during the first twenty years of operation the pipeline could create over 3,000 jobs across Canada. Duh. We're going to continue using fossil fuels for twenty years - and more? We are on the brink of irreversible climate change now - and we're going to continue it for twenty years and more?

Yes. I know we need it for our cars and trucks. But there's a reality out there. I have no doubt, for example, that exploding all our nuclear bombs would create lots of reconstruction jobs. But the trouble is we wouldn't have anybody left to hire. Destroying our environment has the same effect. Within twenty years, the effects will have caused massive food and water shortages, huge migrations of people, wars over water and land. As it is, the oil wars have cost millions of lives, tens of millions of refugees, and  trillions of dollars.

And all that is nothing compared to the chaos that is to come as starving people flood the world. You think the immigrant tensions in Europe are bad? They're barely a glimpse of what's to come. And the whole world will be affected by it.
To all writers at the irving press, try to understand the crucial fact. We cannot go on using fossil fuels. I know we need them for our cars and our trucks and our aircraft and for people who own oil companies. But we can't have them, C-A-N-N-O-T. And we have damn little time to replace them.  (This is like dealing with a crying child who wants his very own canister of poison gas.)

We could create jobs with a massive programme of developing alternate energy. In fact, that would create a hell of a lot more jobs than building a pipeline would. (I would also have the programme run by government rather than by private business which has created and maintained the energy crisis we face.)

I don't want to hurt Mr. Irving's feelings. But it is a clear and simple fact.If we continue to use oil, we exterminate ourselves. And we thank Mr. Irving for all he has done for us, and for the use of his lovely Chapel with its 'special music' and coffee and discussion in the barn.  I'm sure Jesus thinks highly of it. But Mr. Irving is not the man if we want to avoid the turmoil and suffering that has already begun and that promises to get a thousand times worse.

Yes, Alec Bruce. It is "Time to  rise up in anger". So how about leadinig the way by getting up off your knees?
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Section B is filled with brainless drivel. In this world on the edge of the nuclear war, with the Christians of the U.S.,  U.K. (and Canada) helping Saudi Arabia to murder and starve the people of Yemen, a front page story is about a moose who washed up on the PEI shore.

Coverage of the U.S. election is the usual drivel about how the US presidential candidates look and act. Could we possibly have a word or two about what their policies are? And hasn't one of the brilliant editors checked out the Vice-President candidates? They are both extreme right-wingers of the type called neo-cons. In other words, both Democrats and Republicans are really the same party.

Section B, as always, is six pages of nothing.
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What is happening in Yemen, with  close support from Britain, the U.S., and some from Canada, is a deliberate slaughter of civilians and destruction of hospitals and schools. It's a type of war that has its roots among both sides in World War Two.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/16/third-of-saudi-airstrikes-on-yemen-have-hit-civilian-sites-data-shows
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And the people of Moncton, for all their mawkish sentimentality, have yet to raise even a whimper about the availability of guns to kill police in the province and this country.

https://www.theguardian.com/international
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The next item ignores the good news. The war against civilians in  Yemen has been wonderful for the arms industries in Britain, the U.S., and even in Canada.

 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/16/repeated-airstrikes-take-toll-on-yemeni-civiliansstory
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And here's another of those silly stories about climate change that the irving press pays no attention to. (Any thoughts on this one, Alec Bruce?)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/16/arctic-sea-ice-shrinks-to-second-lowest-level-ever-recorded
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Eisenhower was right about the war industries. Is it too late to stop them?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45481.htm
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But, duh, it creates jobs.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/16/the-rise-of-the-right-and-climate-catastrophe/
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The language of this item is strong. But it's well-deserved. The U.S. showers weapons and money on Israel even though no country in the region is in a position to attack it. (Israel has at least 200 nuclear weapons.) Of course, that money has to be spent on the U.S. arms industry.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/16/obama-hands-israel-the-largest-military-aid-deal-in-history/
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Big oil runs our governments. It runs the government of Canada. We all know it runs the governments of New Brunswick. Anyone, at this point, who supports the continued use of fossil fuel is either a fool - or a murderer for profit.

Any journalist who is still an advocate of fossil fuel is either brainless or gutless.
In the struggle for fossil fuels, we are already engaged in mass murder and inflicted misery, the destabilization and destruction of whole societies. And it's going to get much, much worse with many more millions of displaced people, with elevated levels of hatred and racism, and elevated tensions between nations -  including Canada and the U.S. What do you think the U.S. will   do to us as it runs into food and water shortages? (In fact, it has already begun doing it.) We haven't begun to look at the impact of  climate change - let alone planning for it.

 Nor will we with most of the politicians we elect and with the newspapers we read.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/sep/14/trump-and-the-republican-party-are-doing-big-oils-bidding
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Here's a strong sign of the rot in US politics.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/fec-republicans-kill-attempt-to-block-foreign-money-in-u-s-elections/
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There's a film out on Edward Snowden, the former CIA agent who turned against it to reveal the truth about behaviour of such agencies. Naturally, this makes him an enemy of the state. So don't expect to see a review in the irving press
.
https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/new-film-tells-the-story-of-edward-snowden-here-are-the-surveillance-programs-he-helped-expose/
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In the US, as in Canada, prisons do little to rehabilitate prisoners. Things are gentler in Canada.  But still, prisoners come out worse than when they went in.  In the U.S., things are pretty good if you're Conrad Black convicted of stealing millions of dollars - but no so good for criminals who aren't rich. Very often,  they have to work as forced labour, and at very low wages; there's wide use of solitary confinement which can drive a person insane; training is very limited.... The U.S., in particular, is noted for havinig the largest prison population in the world - a population it releases even worse than they were going in.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/the-largest-prison-strike-in-u-s-history-enters-its-second-week/
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This is an interesting article for people fed up with the childishness of the irving Faith Page on Saturdays and the irving chapel with special music on Sundays. It shifts attention from belief to the more important question of how that belief affects (or should affect) our behaviour.

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/09/its-bad-enough-when-your-reverend-heretic-what-if-shes-atheist
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Here's one that questions the news media. I think it's too kind.

http://rabble.ca/news/2016/09/amy-goodman-corporate-media-needs-to-be-fourth-estate-not-state
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Wondering why Harper resigned in seat in parliament? Harper has gone to his reward. And it's better than heaven.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/09/stephen-harper-ready-to-cash-controversial-legal-firm-hired-n
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A computer problem prevents me from sending a report from Haaretz that senior military figures in the U.S. have issued a report that climate change will soon be causing serious problems for the U.S. military. Yes, it will. And it goes beyond the problems the military refers to. It will spark a great many wars, and create stunning problems of dealing with climate change refugees.

But don't worry. You can always read just the irving press, then close your little eyes and sleep the sleep of the truly ignorant.